What is Southwest Nordic?

Southwest High School (SWHS) Nordic Team strives to provide a superior athletic, team, and community experience for nordic skiers of all levels. Our goals are to improve physical and mental health, encourage personal growth, and develop lifelong skills. And we also have fun! 

Nordic skiing is open to students in grades 7-12 and includes both classic and skate skiing techniques. We welcome everyone who wants to be part of a fantastic winter sport, gain racing experience, and strive to reach their personal best.

The team atmosphere is energetic and caring. It doesn't matter if you are new to skiing or training to win the state tournament, there's a place for you to have fun and make friends. 

Is there a team information night?

Yes, October 16, 2023.  If you missed it, have no fear: review the presentation slides.

How do I join?

Registration can be completed online.  Please visit our Join the Team page to get started.

2023-24 season registration will close on 11/27, but it may be possible to join after that date under special circumstances.  Please contact Coach Greg Rhodes <gregsrhodes@gmail.com> with your registration questions.

I am a beginning skier, or do not want to race.  Can I join the team?

Yes!  We have created an option for skiers who are curious about nordic skiing and the ski team to join us 2 days/week. We continue to welcome all skiers at all practices, but we will have a dedicated coach available on Mondays and Thursdays to welcome these skiers as they learn to ski for the first time, or are looking for a skiing experience less focused on racing. 

Do I have to race if I join?

No! If you don't want to race you certainly don't have to. However the majority of the team races, and has a lot of fun doing so. There are three levels (varsity, JV, and novice) so you can race with people who have the same experience as you.

Is scholarship support available?

Yes! Our Booster Club wants to ensure that cost is not a barrier to skiing. Simply email us at SWHighSchoolNordicSki@gmail.com or contact Coach Greg at gregsrhodes@gmail.com to request a full or partial scholarship.

When and where is practice?

Dryland practices (before snow) typically start and end at Southwest High School.

Once there is sufficient snow, practice is held both at Hyland Hills Ski Area and Theodore Wirth Park. We meet at 4:00 pm and 6:15 pm depending on the day. Races are usually at 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm at Wirth. Practice details will be published on Sunday in the SWHS Nordic News, as well as in the TeamSnap calendar.

Where do I find gear? Can I rent from the team?

Please reference our Equipment Guide for information about what you will to be a nordic skier.

The Southwest Nordic Booster Club supplies rental skis and poles to athletes who choose not to purchase their own equipment.

Supply is limited, and is generally issued on a first come, first served basis.  Please contact Coach Pete Moran <rossimoran@gmail.com> for information about rental equipment.

What is the team trip?

Each season, our team takes a trip for 3-4 days during winter break. This year, we will travel to Powder Hound Lodge, near Ironwood, MI. The trip is open to all skiers, and is an excellent opportunity to build team culture and community.

Registration for the trip will close on December 4th.  Please contact our trip coordinator, Emily Bijnagte to join.

Can I do club skiing and high school skiing?

You can do both club skiing and high school skiing. It involves a lot of communication. If you are thinking about doing both please reach out to Greg Rhodes (gregsrhodes@gmail.com) and talk to your club coach.

Where should I buy gear and what skis should I get?

You can buys skis at any of the ski shops near Minneapolis. Pioneer Midwest, Gearwest, and Finsissu are all great options. If you tell the employees what your goals are for the season they can help you find the right pair of skis. If you have never skiied before or if you want to make it to state they will help you find the perfect ski. 

Where can I store my skis and other gear at school?

For skiers attending Anthony Middle School: upon arrival at school, bring your gear to the main office, and the staff will instruct you where to store it.

For skiers attending Southwest High School: you may store your gear in Coach Edie's room, N144.

What's the difference between classic and skate? 

Nordic skiing consists of two different techniques. They use different skis and different length poles. Here is an example of high level skate skiing. Here is an example of classic skiing. Both techniques are nordic skiing but they are quite different from eachother.

Do I need to do both skate and classic?

While you don't have to do both skate and classic it is highly encouraged. If you would prefer to do just one technique it is fine.

How many races are there and what is a pursuit?

There are usually around 5 conference races during the season. Towards the end of the season there will be a conference championship meet where the 10 fastest racers will compete. It is a pursuit race which means in the morning you will race 5k in one technique and in the afternoon you will race 5k in the other technique. You start based on your time in the morning, so for example if you finished 2 minutes behind the first person in the morning, you would start 2 minutes behind them in the afternoon. In the afternoon whoever crosses the finish line first wins. After conference champs the top 7 compete in the sections meet. Sections is also pursuit format, with an additional relay. The top 2 teams and 6 individuals in the sections meet move on the the state meet to compete. The state meet is pursuit/relay and it is the last meet of the season. It's usually in mid February.

How can I join the booster club?

If you a parent who is interested in joining the booster club please contact Sheila Eldred at seldred@gmail.com, we can always use more members!!!

How can I share pictures?

If you take any pictures please share them!!! You can add them to our shared album or send them to any of the coaches or captains!

If you have any other questions please contact gregsrhodes@gmail.com or rossimoran@gmail.com or ask a captain or teammate!